Casper Andreas' Gay Guide to New York
Presented by Las Vegas
Name: Casper Andreas
Profession: Film Director / Actor / Writer
City: New York City
Relationship Status: Taken
Sexuality: Please ...
What are some of the things you love most about New York?
I love that you don't need a car and can just hail a cab at any time. I love that you can sit at home and watch a movie on Saturday night and find a place to go party at on any random Monday night if you feel like it. I also love that the city has so much to offer in terms of culture, art, restaurants, etc.
What are some of your least favorite things?
I hate when I have to be somewhere in the morning during rush hour. Just too many damn people on the subway. I also hate when it's cold in the winter, the rats on my East Village block, and the smelly garbage sitting out everywhere in the summer time.
What gym do you like most in New York City?
I like New York Sports Club the most because its all over the city and there is one close to my house. I like to be able to work out wherever I happen to be in the city since I'm always all over the place.
What are some great restaurants for a night out with gay friends in New York City?
I really like Bottino in the meat packing district.
What are some great restaurants for a romantic gay date in town? What about these restaurants appeals to you?
I love Italian restaurants for a romantic date. There are so many to choose from! I will have to say Bottino again. And Acappella on Hudson street. Great food and very Italian.
What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs in New York City?
Vlada is always a good time. I like XES on Saturdays when Adam Joseph is DJ:ing. Splash for dancing. I used to like Mr. Black but I haven't been to their newest location yet.
What are your favorite gay parties or events in New York?
Honestly I haven't been going out much lately but two regular party nights that I like to visit once in a while is Beige on Tuesdays and Hiro on Sundays.
Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out in the city?
On the Christopher street pier in the summer. In the middle of Rockerfeller plaza, while ice-skating, in the winter.
What is the gay community like in New York? Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene"?
I used to consider myself a hipster who went to all the cool parties. But I've been around too long to worry about those things anymore. I love that NYC has so many "scenes", that there is something for everybody. I guess I'm part of the gay filmmaker scene. I've had films at the New Festival every year in the last 5 years. So I go to a lot of film parties. Not necessarily all gay though.
Are you involved with any LGBT community organizations in New York City? Which ones? What do you like about those groups?
No but there are a couple of organizations that I've thought of getting involved in. Being an independent filmmaker though is so all-consuming. I like to think that I contribute with my films.
What do you think of the annual LGBT pride celebration in New York City? Do you usually attend? What are the highlights for you? What do you like least about it?
I think it's amazing how far we have come. That we are marching down Fifth Ave. If I'm in town I always check out the parade. And I've been marching in it too. That is so much fun! What I like the least? I guess that it's a bitch getting from the East Side to the West side when you have someplace to be!
Do you have a particular fashion style? Where do you shop In NYC for clothes?
Not really. I love dressing up though in fancy clothes and I really enjoy working on films or photo shoots and being dressed up by the stylists. I can't wait to be successful enough so I can have someone else worry about what I should be wearing in my private life too! :)
Where do you go for other forms of entertainment -- live theater, concerts, movies, art exhibits? Are there any local gay performance groups, bands, or artists that you're a fan of?
I used to go to a lot more theater than I do these days. Little black box theaters and stuff. I just directed a gay musical movie and I do go see musicals on Broadway once in an while though I'm really much more into regular plays. I don't go to big concerts much. I usually find the prices way too outrageous. My favorite movie theater is the Clearview in Chelsea. They play great movies including my own! " A Four Letter Word" played there last spring and they are about to open my new film "Between Love & Goodbye".
When it comes to gay artists I'm a fan of Adam Joseph and Matthew Brookshire. And many others!
If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "musts" that you'd recommend they see or do?
I would say to spend some time in the different neighborhoods and get a feel for the different gay scenes in West Village, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and East Village. Then I would say to visit "The top of the Rock".
What city (or cities) in America would you most like to visit next, and why? Are there any specific spots there (theaters, nightclubs, historic sites, etc.) that you'd really like to see?
Right now I would like to visit Miami for the beach! I feel like I've been almost everywhere in the US because I visited so many cities that have gay film festivals. I guess mostly I want to visit certain cities again so I can see friends I have there. Like Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles. When it comes to historic sites... I love history but I'm Swedish so I'm a bit snobbish about it. From a European perspective the US have very little history. I do love to see how architecture is so different in different parts of the country though depending on who settled there first. Like Boston compared to New Orleans or Southern California.
Originally from Sweden, Casper Andreas moved to the United States when his university studies brought him to Chicago, Illinois. Then, following a short period in Paris, France, he moved back to the United States where he eventually settled in New York City to study acting and directing. Two years of studies at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute led to several years performing in numerous Off-Broadway plays including the lead role in Hamlet. He also produced and starred in a production of Brilliant Traces.
Andreas later relocated to Los Angeles where he wrote screenplays, studied directing and took seminars in filmmaking at IFP/West. Once back in New York, Andreas wrote, directed and produced the short film Mormor’s Visit, as well as his first romantic comedy feature, Slutty Summer; in which he also stars. After spending a year traveling with Slutty Summer to gay and lesbian film festivals nationwide, Andreas released the film in theatres in the summer of 2005 through his company, Embrem Entertainment.
The following year, Andreas produced and directed the short film Saying Goodbye from his own script, as well as his multi-award winning feature A Four Letter Word, a gay romantic comedy that he also co-wrote. A Four Letter Word went on to win awards like Outstanding Screenplay (Outfest in Los Angeles and Film Out San Diego), Best Film (Fire Island Film Festival), Best Ensemble (Festival Del Sol), and Best Gay Feature (Q Cinema). A Four Letter Word was released theatrically in more than 15 U.S. markets in the spring of 2008, which was also followed by a DVD release in August of 2008.
Andreas’s third feature, Between Love & Goodbye, which he filmed in 2007, is currently playing film festivals around the world. Between Love & Goodbye is opening in select theaters, starting with New York, on Jan 30; Los Angeles on March 6, and in several other cities this Spring. Check www.lovegoodbye.com for details.
Andreas recently completed co-directing The Big Gay Musical, and is in pre-production of his first LA-based film, Going Down in LA-LA Land, which he adapted from a novel of the same title.
For more information on Casper Andreas and his projects, visit www.casperandreas.com.